Thursday, February 26, 2015
Hearing the Voice of God Part I
Do you want to hear from God? The quality of reception on a cell phone varies widely, and the same is true with you. You must be positioned correctly in order to hear God speak. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” A lot of times we hear God’s Word and get excited about it, but we don’t allow it to change us. The weeds in your spiritual life are a sign that you’re neglecting your time with God. Many times we wonder if an idea that came to us is instruction from God, a deception from Satan, or just something we want to do. I encourage you to know the difference and how to discern God’s voice, because it can have eternal consequences.
“God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you feel confused about a decision that you’re trying to make, you’re probably caught up in yourself and not God’s voice. One moment you can get an idea from God and the next moment you can get an idea from Satan, so it’s important for you to learn how to test an impression so you know if it’s a message from God.
When Hearing the Voice of God, there will be several ways to hear from Him…
1. Hear from Him through Scripture.
Whatever He tells you will always be in line with a scripture. God’s word is alive and vibrant. Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is living and powerful.” I found myself reading a verse in Proverbs, for whatever day it was. (i.e. February 22, Proverbs 22) and each day, that certain scripture could help me with something I'm going through in my life. (Today, 2/26- Proverbs 26, "Honor is no more associated with fools than snow with summer or rain with harvest.") I had to discover for myself that God's Word was real, refreshing and life-changing. I wouldn't be where I am in my life if it wasn't for God's grace and scriptures to bring me through.
2. God will speak to you through PRAYER and INNER CONVICTION
Do you often feel convicted about doing something? Rather it’s your clothing, what you’re consuming, and the people you’re hanging around, or even not getting in your word like you should. ( I know I have) Sometimes we have to just be quiet and be in God’s presence and let Him speak to us through prayer. Romans 8:16, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.” God will give you an inner agreement that you’re good to go. Sit quietly before Him, and wait on Him to tell you what to do. I struggled with conviction of proper Godly clothing; I found myself throwing away clothes that didn't represent Christ or clothes that seemed lustful to people around me. It took me awhile to really hear God speak to me on dressing proper, and now I don't have to wait for Him to tell me I don't need this skin tight dress; as a woman of God, I know that I'm confident enough to capture the same attention, and gain more RESPECT fully clothed, than dressing half naked.
3. God speaks through AUTHORITY!
Submit to the authorities in your life. Don’t try to manipulate the hearts of the authorities in your life. The bible tells us to Honor thy parents. Everyone has some type of authority in your life and if you don’t know who is an authority in your life, you need to find out who they are quickly. Some examples of authorities in your life are:
When I read this, I was like wow. Who knew that your very own job is considered an authority in your life. Thank God for allowing me to have two amazing boss's in my careers who knew Him, and who helped me in many ways to mature into my purpose. I never worked in an environment where my supervisor/or boss said "do this, do that, get this done, etc." Instead, I was blessed with supervisors who would help me with many projects, and considered me a colleague instead of their employee.
4. Godly Counsel
Life can present us with challenges and decisions that are not easy to make on our own. We may pray about the situation and read God’s Word for guidance, but still feel confused and uncertain about the direction we should take. In these times it can be helpful to seek the counsel of other wise and godly people. “The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.” (Proverbs 12:5) Therefore it is imperative when seeking counsel that we examine the character and values of the person(s) of whom we receive advice. I recalled myself listening to old friends who I THOUGHT wanted the best for me, but once I started getting closer to God, I started to realize the advice they gave came from another place, which led me to making some horrible mistakes in life, but thanks to God, He saved me.
Be mindful of who you receive counsel from, make sure they are speaking in a place that comes from the Lord. Receiving advice from a person, friend, or family member who has a vested interest or potential gain from the decisions we make can lead us astray. The more subtle, but equally misleading advice can come from people who care about us, but give advice based on their own fears, insecurities or expectations. Therefore, it is imperative to seek advice from people who know and love God, seek His will and will be impartial to our circumstances and faithful to the truth of God's Word.
5. Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual tongues can be used as a spiritual gift to hear from God. “Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?” (1 Corinthians 14:6). The most important thing you need to know about speaking in tongues is what Jesus said about it, and He did not mince His words in Mark 16:17: "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues." Jesus declared that tongues is a supernatural sign that can and should accompany everyone who believes in Him. God does not give His children any bad gifts, so we shouldn't fear or ridicule the gift of tongues. I haven't had an experience to speak in tongues yet, but I know once I receive this spiritual gift, it will be an ultimate experience that I won't forget.
Learning to clearly distinguish God's voice is invaluable. Instead of going through life blindly, we can have the wisdom of God to guide and protect us. I am convinced that our gracious heavenly Father speaks to every one of us constantly, giving us all the information and guidance we need to be total over-comers. When it comes to seeking to hear God speak the most important thing we have to remember is to set the larger context of our discipleship to Jesus. Learn to be in the presence of God without saying a word. In order to have an intimate, conversational relationship with God, we must learn to abide in Christ and bear fruit for Him.
Stay tuned for Part II...
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